How Things Work: Gamer Edition

There’s plenty of misinformation, myth, and outright cow-dooky floating around about how things worked in Medieval times. How armour worked, which swords were better, how they actually fought, all of these are fodder for at-the-table discussion and, let’s be honest, argument. After all, it isn’t like we all wear and use this stuff any more, so how can we really know how it all worked? Lucky for us, there are folks out there who not only figured out how these things work but uploaded them to the Internet.

I present to you five videos on subjects I’ve had come up at the table before. While they may not put an end to the arguments, at least you’ll go in better informed.

1. How Torches Work – It doesn’t really seem like this would need explaining, but you’d be surprised at how many folks think a torch is just a big flash-light. Here’s a video by Lindy Beige, explaining what a torch actually does for you:

2. What You Can Do in Armour – This one gets argued about discussed a lot, and most people (and games, sadly) are wrong. Here, for instance, is a video of some very spry plate-clad combatants. And before anyone asks, they are wearing steel replicas of actual armour, not aluminium or other prop materials.

3. How Fast Can You Fire a Bow? – Okay, the voice-over for this video is pretty bad, and you are going to hate the name Lars Anderson when it’s done. But it is a pretty impressive display of what is possible when using a bow.

4. Everybody was Sword-and-Shield Fighting! – This one’s a bit long, but a really good overview of fighting with sword and shield, specifically the round shield.

5. Katana Mythology – This one gets a lot of discussion, because the katana has become a near-mythological weapon thanks mostly to the movies. While this specific video is Part 3, it deals with some of the most common myths surrounding this Japanese blade and puts the weapon in context with other weapons. The other parts are good viewing as well.

There you have it! Five videos to quell (or stoke) the flames of argument around the gaming table. Do you have any favourite myth-busting videos you watch? Share them in the comments!

4 thoughts on “How Things Work: Gamer Edition

  1. Wow, very nice collection here, sir. I especially liked videos 1 and 2. I think as gamers we take for granted a lot of the nuances of things like torch light and wearing armor. It’s interesting to take a step back and try to look at it like that.

    • Thanks! I tried but couldn’t find a video dealing with darkness, because that concept is one many gamers have trouble understanding. It is so rare to be in complete darkness in our modern world, getting a player to understand that not only can you not see, but your brain will play tricks on you because of it, is hard.

      • I’m lucky enough to live near some really good caves to explore. If there’s anything to teach a role player about darkness in dungeons, it’s traversing through Carter Caves in Kentucky.

        A face full of cobwebs in the darkness is some frightening stuff.

  2. These are quite helpful. I was familiar with the videos on Bow speed and sword comparisons, and I’ve also seen some good ones on dual wielding. But the rest are new to me and quite useful.

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